Frog of the Week

Bumblebee Poison Dart Frog (Dendrobates leucomelas)

Bumblebee Poison Dart Frog

Common Name: Bumblebee Poison Dart Frog, Yellow-banded Poison Dart Frog, and Yellow-headed Poison Dart Frog
Scientific Name: Dendrobates leucomelas
Family: Dendrobatidae – Poison Dart Frog family
Location: Brazil, Colombia, Guyana, and Venezuela
Introduced: United States – Hawaii
Size: 1.2 -1.5 inches (31 – 38 mm)

The Bumblebee Poison Dart Frog lives in the tropical forests of South America. They are toxic as their name suggests but the toxin comes from their natural diet of ants. Therefore, captive bred Bumblebee Poison Dart Frogs are non-toxic.

The frogs breed during the rainy season in February and March. Males stake out territory and will defend it from other males. To attract the females, the males let out a call. Once the female arrives, the male grasps her from behind in the amplexus position. Then, she lays her eggs and the male fertilizes. The female frogs lay between 5 – 10 eggs on the ground and then she leaves. The male sticks behind and cares for the offspring. He rotates the eggs so the eggs get enough oxygen and keeps the eggs moist. Once the eggs hatch in 10-14 days, the male carries the tadpoles one by one on his back to small bodies of water.

Bumblebee Poison Dart Frog

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the frog as Least Concern for Extinction. They have a wide range and a presumed large population. Clearing of the forests they call home to make room for farms or just for logging is a potential threat.

Bumblebee Poison Dart Frogs as Pets

The Bumblebee Poison Dart Frog is common in the pet trade. It is easy to breed in captivity and fairly easy to take care of. The frogs in the wild make natural groups so housing a few together is fine until they start breeding. Bumblebee Poison Dart Frogs have been found in the wild in Hawaii. Don’t release pets into the wild. If you are thinking of getting one, please check out my article Preparing for a Pet Frog or Toad.

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